Chile Roundup

The Artilleria funicular in Valparaiso

The Artilleria funicular in Valparaiso

I spent a total of 16 days in Chile and spent an average of $49 per day – although that would be significantly lower if I hadn’t done a ski trip to Valle Nevado (which cost $200 for the day). I enjoyed Santiago much more than I thought I would have. I had heard so many stories about how polluted (true) and boring (not true) the city was, but I easily managed to fill 10 days in the city without getting bored.

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Photo Essay: Santiago, Chile

An old theater in Barrio Brasil

An old theater in Barrio Brasil

I spent over a week in Santiago and enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. I had heard from other travelers that the city was terribly boring, crowded, and polluted, but found only the latter to be true. The past ten years – as the country has continued to recover from Pinochet’s regime – has brought a cultural resurgence to the capital city and there is tons to see, do, and eat.

If you go, definitely take advantage of the free walking tours from three companies: Free Tours Santiago, Tours 4 Tips, and Spicy Chile.  I took one walking tour with each and they were all informative and enjoyable.

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The Houses of Pablo Neruda

A portrait of Neruda on a wall outside his Santiago home

A portrait of Neruda on a wall outside his Santiago home

In Chile I had the pleasure of visiting the homes of the world’s classiest hoarder, Chilean Nobel Laureate Pablo Neruda. I’ve long loved his poetry (Ode to My Socks truly changed the way I view the world) but I didn’t know much about his private and political life until I visited experienced the Neruda Foundation museums.

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